What is BLOCS?

BLOCS (Building Louisville's Out-of-School Time Coordinated System) is a partnership of Louisville, Kentucky education, government and community impact organizations that strive to improve opportunities for our youth. We’re also instrumental in:

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What is Out-of-School Time?

The idea that learning and enrichment shouldn’t end with the school bell isn’t new. The out-of-school time learning movement grew rapidly in the early part of the 20th century with the Progressive Era, when settlement houses and children's clubs offered young people a place to learn language, culture and explore other interests.Today, after-school programs have attracted a renewed interest. More than 500 municipal leaders surveyed by the National League of Cities ranked after-school programs among the most pressing needs for children in their communities.

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BLOCS’ Out-of-School Time Focus Areas

In 2014, the city of Louisville launched the life-long learning initiative, “Cradle to Career,” to drive educational attainment and, subsequently, economic growth in our community. Key pillars in this initiative are Early Childhood Care and Educations Readiness, Kindergarten through Grade 12 Success, and High School to Postsecondary Transition and Completion.


  • Out-of-school time helps prepare youth for college: High schools are increasingly focused on ramping up student performance in basic academic skills. Many schools are not able, however, to provide opportunities during the school day for all students to develop vital 21st century skills – such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, adaptability, imagination, and entrepreneurism.
  • Out-of-school time helps social and emotional learning: Research by the Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) indicates that skills such as self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making may be better predictors of life trajectory than standard academic measures.
  • Out-of-school time is the place to get each child what they need, when they need it: A key component of a quality out-of-school program is relationships with adults. When young children receive encouragement and feel supported by adults they form a sense of belonging and are more likely to stay engaged.

BLOCS Founding Partners

BLOCS originated in response to recommendations from the 2008 “Graduate! Greater Louisville High School Graduation Summit.” The summit ultimately led to the publication of the 2010 YouthPrint Report that presented strategies and recommendations to build a system, guided by a long-term planning process, that would fulfill a vision for bettering Louisville-area youth. The founding organizations are Jefferson County Public Schools, The City of Louisville, and Metro United Way. The Alliance for Youth was added to the partners later.

BLOCS Supporting Partners

In addition to our founding partners, BLOCS also has national partners who help provide additional information, resources and support in furthering our vision to improve opportunities for our youth.